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Siddhartha


Published June 11, 2008


LibriVox recording of Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. Translated by Gunther Olesch, Anke Dreher, Amy Coulter, Stefan Langer and Semyon Chaichenets

Read by Adrian Praetzellis

Siddhartha is one of the great philosophical novels. Profoundly insightful, it is also a beautifully written story that begins as Siddhartha, son of an Indian Brahman, leaves his family and begins a lifelong journey towards Enlightenment. On the way he faces the entire range of human experience and emotion: he lives with ascetics, meets Gotama the Buddha, learns the art of love from Kamala the courtesan, and is transformed by the simple philosophy of the ferryman Vasudeva whose wisdom comes not from learned teachings but from observing the River. Herman Hesse (1877-1962) was a German-Swiss novelist, poet, and painter. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)

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Download M4B (140MB)


Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 5:06:16

Reviews

Reviewer: Emanuel Goldstein - - September 26, 2012
Subject: Cosmology, quantum consciousness, Siddhartha
Dr. Praetzellis,
Just finished listening to your delightful and artistic reading of Siddhartha.
I decided that in the decade of my fifties, I would reach beyond my ken to discover and experience new (to me) ideas and endeavour to think differently.
Being dissatisfied with contemporary Christianity, or more precisely, still searching for ultimate answers, I decided to read Siddhartha--after all it has been on my bookshelf for twenty years.
But, for the last few years, I have found myself too restless to sit still long enough to read, though reading has been my constant companion all of my life. So, I decided to listen instead. (And, listening is NOT a strength of mine.)
What great fortune that I happened upon Librivox! And, then, your reading! So many times I listened again to chapters since the beauty of the prose recited by your sonorous voice and rich accent, relaxed me to sleep almost every night. (Believe it on not, that was a COMPLIMENT. Sort of left-handed, even though.)
I am still amazed at the coincidence of it all, too. Just so happens I have been mesmerized by the incredible images of the cosmos coming back from the Chandra, Spitzer, Hubble space-based and the many ground-based telescopes that are revolutionizing our understanding of the the Universe. Cosmology, in particular, is fast becoming a passion of mine.
So, you may want to know how Siddhartha and cosmology relate. I am still ignorant of both except for the most superficial understanding. But, even that makes it clear to me that, just as our lives, indeed the world, repeat the lives of those, and the world, before us, the birth of the Universe, the life cycle of stars, matter and life and, ultimately, the death of all of that, are merely the ultimate example of circular existence, personified, if you will, by the life cycle of the River in Siddhartha.
It is a good start for me at fifty-one years old, and curiously-timed; I have nine more years in this decade to "figure it all out" like Vesudeva, Siddhartha and Govinda.

It's gonna be a blast...


Cheers

Todd House, MD
Louisville, KY

Reviewer: skool kid (yes i know how to spell school) - - August 28, 2012
Subject: confused
My book, compared to your reading, is almost completely different.
Reviewer: MeTube - - October 4, 2011
Subject: Intelligently and beautifully read
Having just finished listening to this fine book, I must say how intelligently and beautifully it is read. For the first minute the reader's and writer's style feel a little strange but soon they are as if they could be no other way! Thank you, Adrian.
Reviewer: kalairajah - - March 18, 2010
Subject: Great Reading
Adrian's reading of the book is really amazing. With proper stress and pause, his reading bought out the life of the book. Good job!!!
Reviewer: bvisvana - - October 29, 2009
Subject: Excellent reading..
Thank you for taking the effort to put this great book in an audio format. We find Siddhartha in each one of us. It has been a tribute to listen to this wonderful insight book. Truly, a life inspiring, guiding, changing book.

"To thoroughly understand the world, to explain it, to despise it, may be the thing great thinkers do. But I’m only interested in being able to love the world, not to despise it, not to hate it and me, to be able to look upon it and me and all beings with love and admiration and great respect.”
Reviewer: Purifier - - May 13, 2009
Subject: Professional Quality
Great recording by a solo-reader.
Reviewer: happyreader150 - - August 27, 2008
Subject: Siddhartha
This is a first-class, sublime, reading of this lovely novel. Thanks to the translators and reader for such a fine job.
Reviewer: Philippe Horak - - June 22, 2008
Subject: A lovely recording
Siddhartha was once a wandering shramana and, briefly, like thousands of others, he followed Gotama the Buddha, enraptured by his sermons. But hw was not a follower of any but his own soul. Born the son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha was blessed in appearance, intelligence, and charisma. In order to find meaning in life, he discarded his promising future for the life of a wandering ascetic. Still, true happiness evaded him. Then a life of pleasure and titillation merely eroded away his spiritual gains until he was just like all the other "child people," dragged around by his desires. Neither a practitioner nor a devotee, neither meditating nor reciting, Siddhartha comes to blend in with the world, resonating with the rhythms of nature, bending the reader's ear down to hear answers from the river.
Many thanks to Mr Adrian Praetzellis for his delicate and sensitive reading of Herman Hesse's book. A lovely recording.
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